Red Burger, Blue Salad


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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57 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I was in Portland, Oregon this weekend, and I’m quite sure that I ate only liberal food. Some of it was tater tots with pulled pork and barbeque sauce with shredded cheddar cheese, and I realize that sounds pretty damn Red State. (Much of Oregon, at least geographically, is a Red State.)

    Nevertheless, this was in a wine-tasting enclave and the server had a nose stud and an ACLU T-shirt, thus, I maintain that this tater tot poutine was every bit as liberal as the pea tendril risotto I’d had the night before.

    Whether you call it Team Blue Cuisine or Team Red Fare, tater tots with pulled pork, barbeque sauce, and melty cheese are effing delicious and your cardiologist urges you to not make a habit of it.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David says:

      Had I but known… (I was stuck in Portland Friday)Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        For me it would have been very… inconvenient, shall we say, for us to have met up, I’m afraid. Much as I’d have enjoyed it.

        Maybe next time, or more likely after I finish my move up there since I think the next time I go to Portland it will be in a U-Haul.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      tater tots with pulled pork and barbeque sauce with shredded cheddar cheese

      Is this how you would describe it or how the waitstaff described it?

      Because if they said “Our special tonight is potato croquettes and a special grass-fed shredded pork shoulder served with a tomato, apple cider, and brown sugar glaze and with a matured grated cheddar adorning everything”, I’d say that, sure, you had tater tots with pulled pork and barbeque sauce with shredded cheddar cheese.

      But it wasn’t the red state version.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        I put in the order off the menu. They had all of these ingredients in evidence on the menu, but hadn’t put together a dish with all of these things together.

        They were described as “tater tots,” not “croquettes des pommes de terres.” Etc. etc. etc.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          It’s hard to explain an aesthetic, and I know that, but I’m going to ask you to try anyway.

          You know how when you go into a Whole Foods, it *FEELS* Blue State and Liberal and Progressive?

          Did the BBQ place feel like that?Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            I understand what you mean, @jaybird, and I’m not trying to resist your question. Walk into a Cabela’s and you get a way different vibe than when you walk into a REI.

            A mock British pub in a touristy wine-country town, an hour or so up the Columbia from PDX is a reasonable bet to:

            1. Be owned by people who identify Red more than Blue,
            2. Be staffed by people who identify Blue more than Red,
            3. Be at pains to be charming, welcoming, and inoffensive to all.

            I felt like it was more of a Portland taproom vibe than a honky-tonk with sawdust on the floor. The speakers were full of jazz. But if you wanted to say it was a relaxed refuge from the snooty sophistication of the Winery tasting rooms, specialty soap and candle shops, and pricey women’s clothing boutiques, by offering somewhere you could just kick it with a burger and a beer, that would also be right.

            So on balance, I am calling it a blue place rather than a red place. If you were to go there, you might reach the opposite conclusion. It’d be a close call either way.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              I’m colorblind, so I can’t attest to it first hand, but I’ve been informed by people with a full set of properly formed cones that “purple” is what you get when you mix red and blue.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Purple is an alloy of blue and red. White is the blend of all colors.

                Black is the absence of any colors.

                Pink is when something is a very light red, more white than red.

                What is the name of pink’s opposite — a color that is more black than red? I don’t know what that is.

                Then, what is the name of a color that is more black than purple? Whatever that word is, that’s the color code for this place.

                Fortunately, we can at this point recall that color is a symbol for a cluster point of attitudinal identifications along the unidimensional cultural-political spectrum, and jump back to the other thing we’re describing.

                The endpoint of the chain of color symbol analogies is the word “apolitical” or some synonym thereof.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Pink is a tint of red (white added to a color). Maroon is a shade of red (black added to a color).

                With color, black is all the colors, white is the absence of color. With light, the opposite is true.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @burt-likko Because that’s an effect of the light bouncing off the color (pigments), and then mixing on its way to your eye (handwave of physics mild inaccuracy in the sake of simplicity), not of the pigments themselves mixing.


              • Avatar Maribou says:

                PS The most common name for the pigment that is a fairly heavy shade of purple is raisin. Which… seems a propos of a drinking establishment. Or some prefer “dark wine” as in “the wine dark sea”… but that is a bit skiffy due to the whole thing where there is also a shade of red that gets labeled “wine”.

                Eggplant is also a good one.

                Is it just me or does raisin have a slightly red-state connotation and eggplant a slightly blue-state one?Report

              • Avatar Anne says:

                Where does aubergine fall on the political spectrum?Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I’ll hazard a guess that if you call it an “aubergine” in the USA, you’re almost certain to be an effete overeducated coastal elite.

                In Real ‘Murca them there’s called “eggplants”.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                I believe that the reddit answer is wrong, or at least incomplete. The “mixing” is done by the retina and brain — a complicated average of the light striking the retina over a period of time. If the wheel is spinning fast enough, the individual colors of light strike the retina sequentially, but close enough together in time that they get averaged into white by the retina-plus-brain.

                The time over which the averaging happens is around 1/24th of a second — that’s the reason that 24 frames-per-second film appears to be moving smoothly. Human vision can detect can detect simple changes between light and dark (“flicker”) at higher frequencies — some people can detect flicker until the frame rate gets up to 72 fps or so. But your brain can learn to not see it! Back in the days of CRTs, North American TV ran at 60 fields (half frames) per second and Europe at 50. When someone from North America would arrive in Europe and look at TV there, the first question was always “Why is the TV flickering?” After a few days their brains learned to not see it.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @michael-cain Yeah, hence my comment about oversimplification of physics.

                Neat info about flicker. You’ve reminded me that one of our ancient handmedown tvs when I was a kid actually had the ability to set more than one flicker rate. Not sure what that was supposed to be for, but we used it just like fiddling with the antenna, kicking the set, etc as something that might or might not help with getting channels to come in more clearly.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                One of the things I don’t miss about the old days is all the little analog controls television receivers used to require: vertical hold, horizontal hold, color, etc. All those functions depended on phase lock loops, which in those days were — to be polite — not very good. Hence the need for humans to make adjustments.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @michael-cain We had about 2-3.5 channels depending on the day, so I was more than happy to have whatever little knobs I could get. Heck, on a really proficient day, I could get it up to 4.5 channels!

                (In retrospect that probably had less to do with my proficiency and more to do with the transmitters…. but I was a little kid at the time, so I felt good about my skillz.)Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Yeah, when I was a kid we had two stations. One transmitter was 60 miles east of us, one 60 miles west, neither was particularly high-powered, so reception was iffy. One carried (IIRC) a mix of NBC and CBS, the other a mix of CBS and ABC. Popular CBS shows would be on both stations at the same time. I helped organize the letter-writing campaign for local kids in our little town when the NBC/CBS station said they weren’t going to air Star Trek during its second season.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                To use the buzz words: light sources are an additive color system.; pigments in printing or painting are a subtractive color system.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                What is the name of pink’s opposite — a color that is more black than red?

                National Baptist?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                Ok, pedant hat on, but

                “White is the blend of all colors.

                Black is the absence of any colors.”

                Is half true. In this formulation, it is only true of natural colors (ie light.) It is just the opposite with created colors (ie paint.)

                Pedant hat off.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Wow. Folks, it was an extended metaphor!


              • Avatar Aaron David says:

                No worries, @burt-likko Just one of those little things that pop in your head after 35 years of not thinking about it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Please, tearing apart metaphors is sport hereabouts, you should know that.

                Right up there with the puns.Report

              • Avatar Maribou says:

                @burt-likko Um.

                This is what I’m like when I am relaxed!

                Seriously, this kind of thing is fun for me. How often does my knowledge of color terms come up in conversation? And yet I have an entire thesaurus of ’em in my head…Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          Was poutine your summary or the thing you ordered?

          If you summarized it as poutine, then that’s on you… if you ordered poutine, then that’s on them. 🙂

          {I’m a little sad for poutine because it is now everywhere and is usually a far cry from good poutine…}Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I notice absolutely no push back on the proposition that pea tendril risotto is food for Team Blue.

      That, too, was write-home-about-it delicious.Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Is a person who buys Grey Poupon likely rich?…The answer to all of the above questions are “yes.”

    According to the Washington Post article, Grey Poupon was the item most strongly predictive of a top-quartile household income in 1992, and that now having an iPhone is more strongly predictive of a top-quartile income than Grey Poupon was in 1992. I don’t think most people would consider a 75th-percentile income to be “rich,” and “most strongly predictive of a top-quartile household income” doesn’t even necessarily imply that a majority of people who buy that product are in the top quartile. In the extreme case, if all other products are split equally between the four income quartiles, then a product of whose owners 26% are in the top quartile will be the most strongly predictive of having a top-quartile income.

    Are most iPhone owners rich? Well, no, except in the global sense in which most Americans are rich. It’s a mass-market product. Same deal with Grey Poupon, except more so, because it was never as strongly as predictive of income as iPhones are now.Report

  3. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Oh, lord, save us from spurious correlations.

    ‘Cos you know this is eventually gonna lead to some poor slob getting shouted out of a restaurant or grocery store because they want the “wrong” food.

    I thought the Grey Poupon thing was just the persistence of advertising. I don’t think of the mustard itself as particularly fancy (not that I even like mustard), but those “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon” (said by the guy sitting in a limo) tend to have a long life in the memory of people who saw those ads.Report

    • Avatar InMD says:

      It’s right up there with ‘Could ya please pass the jelly?’Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:


        I decided against it.Report

        • Avatar InMD says:

          Unlike you I was unable to ctrl myself.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          Now thinking about it, summary execution is something you probably shouldn’t joke about anymore, even if it’s just because of a jar of salsa’s city of origin.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            Dude, it’s from New York City! If that ain’t a hanging offense…Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              True fact – Pace is now owned by Cambell Soup which is headquartered in…Camden, New Jersey.

              Eta – and I just learned from Wikipedia that David Pace was actually from Louisiana and set foot for the first time in San Antonio when he was in the Army Air Corps for WW2.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              The New York metro area has the second largest Hispanic population in the US, behind LA, and is 23.9% Hispanic. Paris, TX where the Pace products are made is in Lamar County, way up in the NE corner of the state. In the 2000 census, Lamar County’s population was 82.5% white and 13.5% black; 3.3% Hispanic of any race. It’s history is much more Southern than Western — cotton grown on plantations by black slaves was the original cash crop. Paris and Lamar County have a long history of violent discrimination against blacks, extending into this century.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                Way to kill the joke, Michael…Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

                Campbell bought Pace in 1995 and moved production from San Antonio to Paris a few years after that, so at the time those commercials were made, Pace’s products were indeed produced in San Antonio. The commercials explicitly say that it’s made in San Antonio, which I assume would have been illegal if it weren’t true.

                Also, while New York City has a large Hispanic population, it’s mostly Dominican and Puerto Rican, with only about an eighth of the Hispanic population being Mexican.Report